Tesla expects demand for electric vehicle batteries will be strong enough to add four more Gigafactories beyond its current Nevada plant.
In a note to investors Wednesday with its quarterly financial report, the company said it will lay out those plans by the end of the year.
As for “Gigactory 2,” that plant will be placed at SolarCity’s facility in Buffalo, N.Y., which Tesla acquired through the acquisition of the solar power company.
Tesla has been preparing that Buffalo facility to open a solar cell and modular manufacturing division with Panasonic Corp. Production is scheduled to being there this summer, with about 1,400 workers expected to eventually be employed in the solar plant.
There will be much interest in where the other three new Gigafactories will be established. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has tweeted and made media comments about the possibility of opening shop in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in Europe, and in India. There’s also been speculation that Tesla will add battery production to its vehicle factory in China.
The next Gigafactories will also likely be considered for jobs beyond lithium-ion battery packs used in Tesla vehicles. In January, the company announced it will be adding electric motor and gearbox production to the Gigafactory in Nevada. There’s also Powerwall energy storage batteries, which Tesla has added to the Nevada factory.
Tesla and partner-company Panasonic announced last month that Gigafactory is up and running. The factory, located near Reno, is about one third complete. About 6,500 people are expected to be working there by year’s end with capacity for a total of 10,000 workers at that plant to be met by 2020.
During its fourth quarter earnings report, the company stated that $522 million had been spent during that time on capital expenditures that included the Gigafactory build-out.
Tesla said it will be investing $2 billion to $2.5 billion to ramp up its factory for Model 3 production.